Applications of Technology

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Applications of Technology

Clements, Ann and Thornton, Darrin. Pennsylvania State University, University Park. Creating a Cross-University Collaborative MOOC: Content, Curriculum, and Connectedness. PPI

This “in progress” project will create, implement, and study the effects of the first cross-university collaborative MOOC-like music experience. The goal of this project is to partner with music education faculty from across multiple universities to create a learning module that leverages specific expertise found at each participating institution. Faculty expertise will be highlighted through the creation of artistically based video “talks” from faculty from each institution that focus on foundational topics of importance to American music teacher preparation. The learning module will be built collaboratively and will act as a portion of introductory music education courses at participating institutions. The format of this module will allow students and faculty from participating universities to experience the curricular content simultaneously, which may enrich experiences and provide innovative approaches in teaching and learning through cross-university online learning.

The research surrounding this project seeks to explore: 1) the degree to which students and faculty interact across institutional boundaries within a cross-university experience; 2) the educational experience of participants in the MOOC; and 3) the potential advantages and disadvantages of a limited or “walled” MOOC experience.

Rationale - Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) offer an unprecedented possibility for learners to take control of their own learning. While MOOCs are attractive on many levels for what they provide in terms of students’ preferences towards learning, their true advantages and limitations have yet to be fully explored through research. This project will explore collaborative teaching and learning through a MOOC experience based within the

boundaries of participating institutions. The concept of a “walled” or a limited MOOC is not without precedent. Copyright, a humanities-based course taught at the Harvard Law School, placed a cap of enrollment to 500 students who were then placed into sections of no more than 25 students each. Aiming for “rigor and quality”, enrollment for the course was limited because they believed that high-quality legal education depends, at least in part, upon supervised small-group discussions of difficult issues (Lin, 2013). While this project will be taught within foundations courses across universities, these courses are housed within the larger guise of teacher certification programs. As a result of the connection to licensure, this project proposes to place purposeful limitations on access and, as a result, on size of total enrollment. It also will be presented within a five-week time frame, which provides the flexibility needed for its implementation into curriculum that are guided by individual state licensure programs.

One size rarely fits all in any educational setting. While MOOCs provide great opportunities for innovation, they continue to be shrouded in questions regarding their sustainability, potential reach, ability to provide a vast variety of content and topics, and their impact on the traditional university. One of the largest concerns regarding MOOCs is the absence of face-to-face instruction and the “classroom experience” (Amajoyi, 2013). In this project, which utilizes a MOOC approach, students and faculty will have the potential to benefit from cross-institution

experiences and perspectives, while, at the same time, they maintain the ability to work in local cohorts (each institution) to watch videos, discuss content and complete activities face-to-face. This is an unprecedented and unique approach to utilization of MOOC technology. One of the pressing research questions regarding the future of MOOCs is their role within and contribution back to the traditional universities that create them. Currently, MOOCs are primarily an export, meaning they consume the resources and know-how of the university, but do so with little to any return to the traditional university. In order for universities to be able to sustain the creation of MOOCs there must be a return on their product creation. This study seeks to create content and curriculum that is beneficial to our own students and university partnerships. It attempts to shed light on how we can use MOOC technology to enchase our local teaching environment and how university partnership can enhance learning.


Fulcher, Lindsay. Pennsylvania State University, University Park. An Investigation of the Apps used by Pennsylvania Music Teachers PPI

Integrating technology into Music Education classrooms is a topic of great interest among teachers and

researchers. A number of people have written books on the subject including Collins & Halverson (2009), Watson (2011), and Foreman & Pace (2008). There has been a great deal of research conducted to investigate technology integration in higher education but less has been published regarding K-12 practices. A few examples of what has been published include Ohlenbusch (2001), Wise, Greenwood, & Davis (2011), and Sheng, Siau, & Nah (2010). Ohlenbusch investigated uses of technology in Texas K-12 classrooms (and then applied it to teacher education). Wise, Greenwood, & Davis investigated technology in New Zealand secondary schools and reported significant use of computers and composition software. But as Sheng, Siau, & Nah report, mobile devices and mobile learning are taking over for traditional computers. The prevalence of smart phones and tablets in schools has led to increased use of mobile applications (apps) in classrooms. It is my experience that many teachers are excited for these resources, but some do not know where or how to begin utilizing mobile apps in the music classroom. Although many teachers appear to be talking about mobile apps, little research has been published regarding app function and selection among K-12 music teachers. The purpose of this study is to investigate what mobile apps

Pennsylvania music teachers are using with/for their students. I intend to answer the following questions: What apps are Pennsylvania music teachers using? What do the teachers consider to be the functions of these apps (classroom management, musical content introduction, musical content review, reward, etc.)? How often do teachers use each app for each reported function? Do teachers of different grade levels and/or subjects (band, choir, orchestra, general) use apps differently (different apps, different functions, different amounts of time)? In January and February of 2014 I will invite Pennsylvania music teachers to fill out a questionnaire. I plan to retrieve a list of Pennsylvania music teachers from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. If this is not possible, I will access the membership list of PMEA. The teachers will be asked demographic information, such as what grades and subjects they teach. Then they will be asked to discuss up to ten apps that they use in their music

classroom(s). They will be asked what functions they believe these apps serve and how often they use each app for each perceived function. I anticipate different app uses among teachers of different subjects (band, choir,

orchestra, general) and/or different grade levels. The survey process will be complete in February and data analysis will begin. Although this is a research project, it began from a very practical place. Last year I went to a number of conference sessions focused on mobile apps and was unimpressed with many of them. I became very interested in what apps current K-12 music teachers are actually using and how they are using them. This is why I hope to share this information as a Programs, Practices, & Issues poster at the NAfME Music Research & Teacher Education Conference. I anticipate collecting a list of practical, usable, favorite apps from these K-12 music teachers. I intend to share that list with other K-12 teachers as well as with music teacher educators who can not only use the apps but also share them with future teachers.


Collins, A., & Halverson, R. (2009). Rethinking education in the age of technology: The digital revolution and schooling in America. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Foreman, G., & Pace, K. (2008). Integrating technology with music instruction: Using standard technology teaching tools to aid student learning and teach essential music skills. Van Nuys, CA: Alfred Publishing Co.

Ohlenbusch, G. (2001). A study of the use of technology applications by Texas music educators and the relevance to undergraduate music education curriculum (D.M.A.). Shenandoah University, Ann Arbor.


Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&I. (252105601) Sheng, H., Siau, K., & Nah, F. F.-H. (2010). Understanding the Values of Mobile Technology in Education: A Value-Focused Thinking Approach. Database for Advances in Information Systems, 41(2), 25–44,6. Watson, S. (2011).

Using technology to unlock musical creativity. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Wise, S., Greenwood, J., & Davis, N. (2011).

Teachers’ Use of Digital Technology in Secondary Music Education: Illustrations of Changing Classrooms. British Journal of Music Education, 28(2), 117–134.

Riley, Patricia. University of Vermont, Burlington. Music Composition for iPad Performance: Examining Perspectives

iPads are vibrant and dynamic tools for educators and musicians. They are increasingly prevalent in our schools, communities, and homes. This qualitative research investigates a music composition created specifically for performance on iPads. It examines perspectives of the composers, performers, and audience member participants. Composers were undergraduate music education majors with concentrations in music composition, performers were undergraduate music education majors, and audience members included music majors, composers, music theory professors, and conductors of traditional large ensembles. Data includes the notated composition and written reflection statements by the composers, performers, and audience members. Research questions included: What was it like to compose/perform/be an audience member for a piece composed for iPad

instruments? How does composing for iPad instruments differ from composing for more traditional instruments? How do you feel performing on an iPad differs from performing on more traditional instruments? What were the challenges that you encountered and how did you respond to them? And, what did you like best and least about this composition and/or performance? The data are analyzed for emergent themes, and the themes discussed. Video of composer remarks and the performance will also be shared

Silveira, Jason. Oregon State University, Corvallis. Gavin, Russell, Baylor University, Waco, TX. Digital Recording Technology and its Effect on Error Detection among Middle School Band Students: Updates from a Previous Study

This study examined the effect of digital audio recording and playback on middle school instrumentalists’ self-assessment and error detection. Participants included eighth-grade band students from three separate middle schools in the southwestern United States. The sample included woodwind (n = 64) and brass (n = 48) players who were enrolled in their school’s band program. The source music utilized in this study was the 2011 Association of Texas Small School Bands Region 8 Honor Band audition etude. For the present study, only the first 12 measures of the etude were used. These measures constituted a complete phrase, and allowed the participants enough source material to assess themselves on the four elements of tone quality, pitch accuracy, rhythmic accuracy, and dynamic expression. Participants then played the prescribed etude while the researcher recorded the performance using a Zoom H2 Handy Portable Stereo Recorder using the built in stereophonic microphones. Following this live performance, each student was given a questionnaire in which they were asked to rate individual aspects of their performance on a 7-point Likert-type scale, with 1 representing “not good at all” and 7 representing “very good.” The individual aspects assessed were tone quality, pitch accuracy, rhythmic accuracy, and dynamic expression. After completing the self-assessment of their live performance, participants listened to a


recording of their individual performance via an Alesis Transactive Mobile PA system and completed another identical self-assessment. Two days following the live performance, students again listened to their recorded performance, and completed a third self-assessment.

For each of the four musical elements, participants’ self-assessments were highest immediately following their live performance, and decreased after listening to their recorded performance, and decreased again after listening to their recorded performance two days later. Results revealed significant differences in self-assessment ratings among the three listening conditions (live performance, recording, recording two days later) for tone quality, pitch accuracy, and rhythmic accuracy, but not for dynamic expression. The elements of tone, pitch, and rhythm all evidenced significant decreases in self-assessment ratings from the live performance to the recorded performance two days later. There were also significant decreases in self-assessment ratings between the live performance and the first recorded performance condition for the elements of pitch and rhythm. Only tone evidenced a significant decrease in self-assessment ratings from the first recorded condition (immediately following the live performance) to the second recorded condition (two days following the performance).

Participants appeared to rate themselves higher immediately following their performance, before an “objective” review of the recording, suggesting an initial self-inflation or overestimation bias following the live performance. It is interesting to speculate on why participants initially had higher self-assessment ratings before listening to the recording. It could be that listeners were unable to accurately assess themselves while performing the etude. The research literature would seem to corroborate this supposition given that it is difficult for performers to attend to both the execution of the performance and evaluation of the performance with a high degree of accuracy (Delzell, 1989; Ellis, 1989; Waggoner, 2011). The initial higher ratings could also be the result of participants’

overestimation or self-inflation during the first listening task (Kruger & Dunning, 1999).

Another interesting finding in the present study was that participants evidenced lower self-assessment ratings with each repeated listening. It could be that participants in fact were better able to detect imperfections in their performance with each repeated listening, although this conflicts with Sheldon (2004), or this could be the result of an expectancy effect. While three of the four musical elements significantly decreased from the first to the third listening condition, only one (tone quality) exhibited a significant decrease from the second to the third listening condition. For the elements of pitch, and rhythm accuracy, it could be that the self-assessment ratings leveled off due to a “law of diminishing returns,” or the stability of these ratings across time might represent a measure of reliability in participants’ self-assessment ratings. It might be fruitful for future studies to have participants assess themselves over a longer period of time to determine if in fact self-assessment ratings “level off” over time. Determining how students can use technology to improve their performance quality and their self-assessment is certainly an important topic of study in music education. It is suggested that future research continue to explore to what degree the use of digital recording technology can impact music teaching and learning, both collectively, and individually.

Soto, Amanda. University of Idaho. Effective Synchronous Online Teaching Practices PPI

Technological breakthroughs in our modern world have changed the teaching landscape that we work in today. It has provided a variety of methods to transmit information to our students, which in turn has changed the

classroom experience. Universities are now offering online graduate courses to reach students who have diverse distance and time issues and needs. Peterson & Slotta (2009) found that graduate seminars were well suited for online instruction, because small and whole group discussions present in seminars could easily be mapped onto an online format. In addition, they found that online teaching offers a pedagogical advantage because students and


instructor have increased accessibility to all students’ thinking about the current topic and allows an opportunity for all students to fully participate with course discussion.

The majority of online courses have been transmitted asynchronously through computer-mediated communication (CMC) like Blackboard, discussion boards, chat sessions, recorded video presentations, and email. Bonk and Dennen (2002) warned that asynchronous instruction could make students feel isolated through independent forum postings. Furthermore, they found that live communication via chat is important to online learners who expect immediate assistance, response, and recognition. Recording online teaching sessions also allow the instructor to review and reflect on their delivery and class content (Pawan, 2003). Providing synchronous online graduate courses allows students to experience a virtual classroom setting in which they can ask questions and participate in discussion with their teacher and fellow classmates. Current face-to-face classes at the university system are now being supported with online computer mediated communication programs like Blackboard. Synchronous teaching that is paired with an asynchronous teaching platform offers the best of both of both worlds. As a professor who was given the task of teaching online graduate music education courses, this newbie stumbled in and out of various programs in the quest to find a suitable platform to deliver synchronous online instruction. This best practices poster will present the various ways in which online classes can be delivered through a variety of platforms while addressing the pros and cons of each. The presenter will give helpful tips and suggestions that will enable the online professor to be successful on the World Wide Web.

In addition, specific attention will be given to the could-based enterprise web conferencing solution that can simulate a synchronous real classroom experience. This program provides a face-to-face environment for all participants and allows the instructor to deliver engaging real-time virtual classes, manage student participation, and even track student’s progress. The poster will present screenshots of an online class in action and showcase how to utilize the various features that enhance the online classroom experience. Participants will be advised how best to prepare and deliver an effective and stimulating online class regardless of the chosen platform.

Furthermore, past students’ perspectives and experiences with the synchronous online music education course will be presented.